Loudermilk joins a movement of “eco-couture” designers who are consciously deciding to utilize sustainable materials including wood pulp, hemp, bamboo and recycled plastic bottles or repurposed materials such as military parachutes rather than conventional synthetic textiles. Producing swimwear makes perfect sense – if you’re spending the time to appreciate Mother Earth in all its oceanic splendor, you might as well take a moment to see if you’re simultaneously destroying it with the clothing you wear.
Think about a cute cover-up made from bamboo with an organic women’s tunic or if you are trying to practice energy conservation while perfecting your tan, sport a solar-powered bikini. That’s correct, I said a solar-powered bikini! The suit is covered with photo-voltaic strips that capture the sun’s energy so that following a bit of outdoor time, you can safely charge your phone or iPod. (Just make sure to unplug them before taking a dip!)
The eco-couture movement nonetheless faces challenges for swimwear, it’s been a struggle for some designers to produce swimwear from eco-friendly materials. You see, most girls like their suits to be able to hold a shape or form a shape and that isn’t the easiest thing to do with materials lacking in chemicals. Aqua Green, the company that makes the Eco Swim line, provides an enhancing “eco-cell” foam bra cup created with biodegradable plant oil that won’t leave thousands of polyester bra cups in landfills to puzzle future generations on an archeological dig. The suits themselves are produced from recycled nylon and cotton.
And while the biodegradable suit may only make a modest dent in the waste cycle of clothing, it’s a large step towards sparking new suggestions in designers, that in their business of innovation, perhaps the material selection can be as bold as their styles. Perhaps the new frontier of fashion lies in being brave enough to step away from the synthetic materials which are classic choices and deciding on alternative materials like bamboo. The innovative Spanish brands are making such bañadores which reflect sustainability and fashion both.
And perhaps one day, females everywhere can brag about how their outfit not merely makes their waist appear smaller but also shrinks their carbon footprint!